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Ethan Witt knows firsthand the value of a degree from Eastern Kentucky University.

Ethan Witt photoNow, after serving the past 4 ½ years in the field offices of Sixth District Congressman Andy Barr and U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the 2011 political science graduate is returning to his alma mater to share that story as its director of government and community relations. He will serve under the direction of Dr. David McFaddin, vice president for engagement, regional stewardship and government relations.

“I’ve always had a deep appreciation for the opportunity EKU has afforded so many individuals from both our region and the entire Commonwealth,” said Witt, an Irvine native and Estill County High School graduate. “I’m proud to be one of those people and couldn’t be more excited for the opportunity to serve at EKU.”

Witt, who spent a summer as a U.S. Senate intern while an EKU student, minored in communication studies and graduated summa cum laude. After more than two years as a field representative for Barr, he joined McConnell’s staff as Blue Grass Region field representative, with responsibility for 20 central and eastern Kentucky counties, in February 2016.

“Beginning during my service with Rep. Barr and continuing with Sen. McConnell, I’ve had the opportunity to work closely with EKU leadership in their work to advance this institution,” Witt said, adding that the experience allowed him to “form meaningful relationships at the local, state and federal level.”

McFaddin, who will continue to be involved in government relations, said the University’s vision includes “strong partnerships at all levels. Ethan will be able to help us build those partnerships for the betterment of the communities we serve and the University. We’re excited to have one of our own come back and work with us in this capacity.”

Much has changed on the Richmond campus since Witt was an EKU student.

“I’m grateful for the positive momentum President (Michael) Benson and his team have generated,” said Witt, who assumes his new job on Feb. 15. “I look forward to contributing to this momentum in every way possible as we work to expand educational opportunity in our Commonwealth.”